“Because He’s a Police Reporter, He Likes Adrenaline. He Likes Something Happening.”

From the book, All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire, by Jonathan Abrams. Richard Price, a novelist (The Wanderers, Clockers, and Lush Life), wrote screenplays for The Wire. David Simon  was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, an author, and the creator, along with former Baltimore police detective Ed Burns, of The Wire.

Richard Price: My theory about David is, because he’s a police reporter, he likes adrenaline. He likes something happening, crisis after crisis. He didn’t go back to books, because I think he would have to downgrade his metabolism to go back to being a turtle. He’s a rabbit now. He even wrote me an email saying, because he owed [editor John] Sterling a book, years and years ago, but I’m paraphrasing, but something like,”Tell Sterling I’ll get back to the book as soon as I finish sucking on the glass crack dick of HBO.”

I think it really is crack for him. You sit in your office typing, all of a sudden you hear, “Six dead,” or, “An explosion somewhere in Baltimore.” Boom. You’re out of there. Then you gotta compete with all the other dogs, and you’re looking for angles nobody else has. He’s  got that. When I was going around with him, and he was hooking me up with cops, detectives in Baltimore, he saw police barriers and they wouldn’t let him in, and he was very embarrassed. He scaled a backyard fence to get into the apartment where no one was looking where the fire took place. He’s like an animal. Like any good reporter, he’s an animal like that. His intellectual muscles, he can go from zero to sixty in an instant, and I think TV gave him that, because it’s the same low-key sense of crisis every minute.

David Simon:  Bad news: I’m the same guy who used to have his feet up and argue with other reporters on the Metro desk about what the news meant. That’s infinitely more interesting to me than being political about entertainment that’s already been off the air for five years. I just can’t. I’m  just not built that way. I’m not offended. I’m not personally invested in everything that was The Wire, but if you ask me whether I should give a fuck about, in a fair fight, who’d win, Omar or Stringer, or who’s cooler, my initial reaction and my second reaction and my fourth reaction is, “Who gives a fuck?” That’s who I am. I’m not saying I’m right and I’m not saying it’s everybody’s metric, but I know what I do.

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